The first Annual “Carolina Cycle Challenge” was a great success on Sunday, October 6 2013. The Carolina Cycle Challenge is a Rotary Clubs project and continuation of Brett’s Ride, an event named for Brett Gosnell, a Hickory teen who died of pediatric cancer in 2006. Since 2004, the event has raised more than $1 million for pediatric cancer research.
This year’s ride raised $50,000 for pediatric cancer research at Carolinas HealthCare System’s at the Levine Children’s Hospital, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the Leon Levine Foundation, for a total of $100,000. The event hosted over 700 registered riders, was supported by over 350 volunteers, and offered something to all members of the community including families with toddlers, students, casual riders, and serious cyclists. The ride included a Tot Ride with Fun Zone, and a 10-mile and 32-mile bike ride.
WBTV’s Maureen O’Boyle charmed everyone as the Master of Ceremonies. Mark Gosnell (Brett’s Father) opened the ceremonies with a reading of Brett’s Challenge: “Put helping, caring about, and serving others at the center of all that you do – not just for today or tomorrow but for the remainder of your life.” “This sentence is synonymous with Rotary International’s mission of ‘”Service Above Self,” said Rotarian and CCC Chairman Bill Shillito.
This year’s “Number One Rider” was Cole Frye, a local 13-year-old who battled cancer. Over the past year, Cole underwent numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and in August, he received the good news that his latest scans are clear.
The ride is presented by the Rotary Club of Catawba Valley, Rotary Club of Lake Hickory, Rotary Club of Hickory, Rotary Club of Newton-Conover and the Rotary Club Hickory Sunrise, along with the City of Hickory, Hickory Foundation YMCA, and the Hickory Velo Club. Our Platinum and Gold sponsors are: Carolina HealthCare Foundation, Healthstat, Hickory Daily Record, Hickory YMCA, The George Foundation, Henline Family, Mike Johnson Family, McDonald’s, Ortho Carolina, Rock n Road Bicycles. Broyhill Family Foundation, Hickory Velo Club, Hickory Elks Lodge and Santorini Grill.
Bill Shillito (Chairman for the Carolina Cycle Challenge) stated: "We are so very thankful to the Gosnell family and friends of Brett’s Ride. Their support and encouragement allowed the Rotary Clubs of Catawba County and greater Hickory Metro to carry on a wonderful tradition. We look forward to carrying that tradition of a fun family oriented ride that also encourages an active and healthy life style, while allowing Rotarians to continue to be an important positive contributor in all aspects to and for our community. This ride allows us to raise funds to fund research to fight pediatric cancers."
Please save the Date of October 5th, 2014 for Rotary Clubs of the Greater Hickory Metro’s 2014 Carolina Cycle Challenge. See: www.carolinacyclechallenge.org.